Photographs by Gavin Lesnick
A small memorial stands for Michael Stanley Jr. in the grassy lot where he was struck by a van and beaten after a chase.
Originally published May 4, 2012 at 09:33a.m., updated May 4, 2012 at 02:17p.m.
LITTLE ROCK The father of a 14-year-old who died after being run over and beaten Thursday in Little Rock says he wants the man charged with the crime to face the death penalty.
Speaking Friday on the steps of his Little Rock home, Michael Stanley Sr. said the man accused in the killing, 58-year-old Michael Sadler, deserves capital punishment.
Sadler was arrested on a charge of first-degree murder. Authorities say he acknowledged post-arrest that he chased down 14-year-old Michael Stanley Jr., running him over with the van and then getting out and beating him because the teen took his wallet.
"He deserves to pay with his life," Stanley Sr. said when asked what he wanted to say to Sadler. "You did what you did ... We can't talk to our son, do nothing with him no more. They've got flowers, crosses up over there for our son. His momma needs to go through the same thing we're going through. He put that burden on us, his momma deserves that burden on her."
The elder Stanley said he takes issue with the version of events presented by police. He said it appears in surveillance video captured by a nearby gas station [VIDEO] that the van stopped and initiated contact with the teen and another bicyclist before giving chase.
Stanley Sr. said it appeared to him that some "transaction" was occurring. He said he didn't know if it involved drugs or anything else.
"Really we don't know what all happened," Michael Stanley Sr. said. "We don't know what they were talking about or what kind of transaction that was."
Earlier Thursday, Sadler was ordered held in lieu of a $1 million bond after appearing by video in Little Rock District Court. An innocent plea was also entered during the brief hearing.
Man who struck child charged with murderWatch Video
Police investigate teen's death after chaseWatch Video
Sadler, wearing a blue jail uniform and standing with his hands clasped in front of him, spoke only briefly - inaudibly replying when District Judge Alice Lightle asked him if an attorney representing him in previous cases would represent him in the murder case.
Police have said Michael Stanley Jr. snatched Sadler's wallet outside the Asher 1-Stop at Asher Avenue and South Maple Street.
The teen jumped on a bicycle and was pedaling away from the scene when Sadler got in his Chrysler van and pursued him, police said.
Sadler is accused of driving after the teen as he rode into a nearby grassy lot. There, the van struck the teen and Sadler then got out and beat him, authorities said.
Prosecutors said during the hearing Friday that Sadler admitted to detectives that he chased the boy, ran over him and then punched and kicked him as he lay injured on the ground.
Michael Stanley Jr. was pronounced dead at Arkansas Children's Hospital.